This is a small, mainly green hanging parrot, only 14 cm long with a short tail. The adult has a red crown, rump and bill, and an orange tint to its back. Immature birds lack the orange hue to the back, have a duller rump, and have only a hint of orange on the crown.
Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot is less gregarious than some of its relatives, and is usually alone or in small groups outside the breeding season. Its flight is swift and direct, and the call is a sharp whistled twiwittwit..twitwitwit. The lorikeet is a convivial little bird, delighting in juicy fruits, the nectar of flowers (especially red cotton), and the juice of palms collected in toddy-drawers’ pots. Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot is a bird of open forest. It is strictly arboreal, never descending to the ground. It nests in holes in trees, laying 2-3 white eggs in the first half of the year, and sometimes again in July-September. Its breeding habits are highly remarkable.
This brilliantly-coloured little parrot is found everywhere in the hills up to 4,000 feet, and in the north-east monsoon it ascends a thousand feet higher; it also inhabits the low-country wet zone and parts of the dry zone to the south of the Northern Province.